8 million year old trees discovered that are not fossils but still wood

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8 million year old trees discovered that are not fossils but still wood

Is this possible? To be still organic after 8 million years? What does this say about finding other non fossilized materials?

Hungarian Environment Minister Gabor Fodor told reporters in Budapest Friday the government will contribute millions of dollars to preserve the trees, the Hungarian news agency MTI reported.

Fodor said the cypress trees, believed to be 98 to 131 feet tall, were found in the Bukkabrany lignite mine, near the town of Miskolc, 100 miles northeast of Budapest.

The trees once were part of a wetlands forest in the Bukk mountains region, north of Miskolc.

The find is unique because the trees have not turned into fossils, which means they could yield clues to plant life in pre-historic times.

Authorities will put the rare trees on display for visitors in the Bukk National Park outside Miskolc.

By netchicken: posted on 4-8-2007

It may look like a haunted forestóbut this rare cluster of fossilized trees is luring scientists in, not scaring them away.

The eight-million-year-old swamp cypress forest was found recently near the village of Bukkabrany in northeastern Hungary, officials announced today (map of Hungary). Miners uncovered the unusual find while digging for lignite, or brown coal.

The remains of the 16 uncovered treesówhich range from about 13 to 20 feet (4 to 6 meters) tall and 5 to 10 feet (1.5 to 3 meters) aroundóare an oddity because they did not petrify, or turn to stone, as preserved trees usually do.

Instead, the trees retain their original wood, giving scientists vital clues to the puzzling geology and climate of ancient central Europe.

At that time, the Pannonian Lake that submerged much of present-day Hungary and its neighbors had begun to retreat. Meanwhile global sea levels had begun to fall, which eventually caused all or some of the Mediterranean Sea to dry up.
... Quote:
The importance of the findings is that so many trees got preserved in their original position in one place. But the real rarity about these trees is that ... their original wood got preserved ... they did not turn into stone
Alfred Dulai, a geologist at the Hungarian Natural History Museum, told the Reuters news service.

Miners working in a brown coal mine had first uncovered several tree trunks that had been turned into coal, a common occurrence in this kind of environment.

Catching a glimpse of these ancient tree trunks, which look like they belong on the set of a science-fiction film, requires descending about 60 metres (200 feet) into a 3,500-square-metre (37,670-square-foot) large open mine.

All that is left of the trees is their trunks, two to three metres in diametre and six metres in height, although the original taxodiums must have reached to between 30 to 40 metres.
... Quote:
The trunks were preserved in their original form and material. During the Miocene period, which began over 10 million years ago, the region was covered by a giant lake with muddy and marshy shores, Lake Pannon.

The exceptional state of preservation of the trees is due to a sudden sandstorm which covered the forest (with sand) up to a height of six metres. All that was above perished but the part that was buried under the sand remained beautifully intact
said Miklos Kazmer, the director of the paleontology department at the Loran Eotvos Natural Science University in Budapest.

The eight-million-year old tree trunks still feel like wood to the touch, as an AFP journalist was able to attest for himself.

Although 60 metres underground, the trunks cannot be moved as they "crumble" when exposed to air and sunlight, which are especially harmful given the wood's age, the site's chief archaeologist Janos Veres said.



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By netchicken: posted on 19-5-2009

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